Orthodontic treatments

 

Your / your child’s first appointment is an initial orthodontic consultation appointment. During this 60-minute long appointment, only your / your child’s initial diagnostic records will be taken, which include:

  • OPG panoramic x-ray and cephalogram side x-ray,

  • Full facial and intraoral patient photos and possibly videos,

  • A set of impressions to be used for study models,

  • A set of intraoral scans to be used for digital planning.

The price of the initial appointment is €80 and includes all the above.

 

This data is needed so our orthodontic team could prepare your / your child’s orthodontic treatment plan. This treatment planning takes 4 weeks, after which another appointment would be arranged for you / your child.

Patients are called back for this free-of-charge, second consultation with the planning orthodontist to discuss the case and the treatment plan in detail.

 

Once the treatment plan is accepted by you, the first appointment for dental cleaning needs to be booked. Regular dental cleanings before and during treatment are necessary to maintain a good oral hygiene.

The fitting of the braces appointment will be booked based on our scheduling and might take a few weeks to get.

 

Please be informed of the most frequently used orthodontic appliances we offer with their corresponding prices:

 

Fixed braces:

 

In most cases, a permanent, fixed appliance is used. Fixed appliances have different types, such as:

  • Metal braces – priced at €1,195 per jaw*

  • Clear braces – priced at €1,600 per jaw*

  • lingual braces – priced at €2,800 per jaw*

*additional costs for visits, retainers and dental cleanings are excluded from price above but your / your child’s treatment plan will include all charges!

These appliances have brackets fixed to the teeth and they are joined by archwires; the flexibility of the archwires is used during treatment. This type of appliance requires monthly visits and commitment throughout the 12-24 months’ of treatment.

 

Invisalign treatments:

Based on your / your child’s individual treatment plan, a series of custom-made, clear Invisalign trays are created specifically for you / your child. These aligners are made of a smooth, comfortable, BPA-free plastic that won't irritate the cheeks and gums like traditional metal braces often do. They should be worn throughout the day, and be removed while the patient eats or to brushes and flosses the teeth. As you / your child wear(s) each set of aligners, the teeth gently and gradually begin to shift into place. And because they're virtually invisible, most people won't even notice them.

 

While every case is unique to each patient, treatment typically takes approximately a year for adults.

 

For teens the length of treatments is comparable to that of braces.

 

·         Invisalign Lite treatments: €2,620

·         Invisalign Full / Teen treatments: €4,540

 

*These prices include the visit fees and retainers but exclude the recommended regular dental cleanings and replacement Invisalign trays if they are lost or damaged. Replacement trays are charged at €100 each.

Functional appliances:

Our clinic offers very modern appliances, with which treatment is more affective and results are guaranteed.

For early treatments, we use removable appliances which can be fitted to either the upper or lower jaw – or a functional appliance which is fitted to both jaws. Removable appliances mainly treat irregularities of the jaw bone growth or to correct pathological bites; they have a minimal affect on tooth positions. Hence a second phase of orthodontics is normally required to correct or slightly adjust the positioning of the teeth. For these, we use fixed appliances.

For jaw expansions, we use fixed appliances together with braces for the best treatment results.

These appliances vary between €250 and €750*.

*additional costs for visits, retainers and dental cleanings are excluded from price above but your / your child’s treatment plan will include all charges!

 

Payment terms:

  1. Upfront payment:

 

Patients who make an upfront payment for the full orthodontic treatment are presented with a 5% courtesy discount. Payments can be made by laser and credit cards, bank transfers. Please ask one of our reception staff members should you require any further help regarding this form of payment.

 

  1. Instalment arrangement:

 

This instalment arrangement is set up to facilitate easier payments for our patients. There is no extra cost to avail of this option.

  • A deposit of 30% of the appliance price is requested to be paid on the day the braces are fitted. The deposit requirements are as follows:

Option 1: metal braces: €600,

Option 2: mixed (clear & metal) braces: €800,

Option 3: clear braces: €1,000.

  • The rest of the balance is payable over the remainder of the appointments, spread out over the length of the treatment. Monthly amounts of set instalments are needed to be agreed with our Treatment Coordinator / Reception Personnel.

  • Payments can be made by laser and credit cards, bank transfers and cash.

Please be advised that whichever option you choose, orthodontic treatment will require to be paid in full before the braces are removed. Failure to do this will result in the delay of removing the braces; this can prolong the orthodontic treatment which may affect the patient’s dental & oral care. Please note that we cannot take responsibility for treatment prolonged by this reason or any damage caused.

 

We are looking forward to welcome you at our Clinic; please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions in the meantime.

 

Carlow Dental Centre Team

 

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry

From subtle changes to major repairs, your dentist can perform a variety of procedures to improve your smile. There are many techniques and options to treat teeth that are discoloured, chipped, misshapen or missing. Your dentist can reshape your teeth, close spaces, restore worn or short teeth or alter the length of your teeth. These improvements are not always just cosmetic. Many of these treatments can improve oral problems, such as your bite.

Cosmetic dentistry is based on a broader field of the profession, called restorative dentistry.

What is Restorative Dentistry?

"Restorative dentistry" is the term dental professionals use to explain how they replace missing or damaged teeth. The goal is to bring back your natural smile and prevent future oral health issues.

Why restorative procedures are important?

 

  • Filling in empty spaces in the mouth helps to keep teeth in the right place.

  • Replacing teeth helps to maintain good oral care habits, which can help prevent oral disease and plaque build-up.

  • Missing teeth can affect your health, looks, and how you feel about yourself.

 

There are a few different treatment options your dental professional may suggest. These include bridges, crowns, and implants.

Restorative Treatment Options

 

Crowns

A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a tooth.

It is used to strengthen and protect your tooth structure.

Most crowns are made of a hard, white substance to help them look natural.

 

Bridges

A dental bridge covers or "bridges" the gap between missing teeth.

After you lose a tooth, your dentist may suggest that you get a bridge.

A bridge can keep your other teeth from moving out of place.

Once a bridge is placed, it works just like your natural teeth.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth.

An implant has two parts: an artificial root and a false tooth.

A dental implant looks and feels like a natural tooth.

 

How to take care of your restorative work?

 

  • Brush your teeth in the morning, at night, and after meals to help reduce plaque build-up.

  • Electric toothbrushes can help remove plaque from your teeth and restorative work.

  • Make sure to floss around your teeth, dental implants, crowns, and bridges every day.

  • Try not to chew on hard or sticky foods. These can damage your implant, bridge, or crown.

  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash to help gets rid of plaque bacteria around restorative work.

 

Why is a dental crown needed?

A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:

 

  1. To protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth.

  2. To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down.

  3. To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't a lot of tooth left.

  4. To hold a dental bridge in place.

  5. To cover misshapen or severely discoloured teeth.

  6. To cover a dental implant.

  7. To make a cosmetic modification.

 

What types of crowns are available at CDC?

  • Temporary versus permanent. Temporary crowns can be made in your dentist's surgery, whereas permanent crowns are made in a dental laboratory. Temporary crowns are made of acrylic and can be used as a temporary restoration until a permanent crown is constructed by a lab. They are priced at CDC for €25.00 (short-term temporary crown, made by the dentist) or €85.00 (long-term temporary crown, made by the dental lab technician).

  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) dental crowns can be colour matched to your adjacent teeth. However, the crown's porcelain portion can also chip or break off. Next to all-ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look less natural. Sometimes the metal underlying the crown's porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line and even more so if your gums recede. These crowns are not the best choice for high aesthetics, natural looking solutions. They are priced at CDC for €420.00.

  • Zirconia or milled crowns are digitally constructed in our metal-free CAD/CAM dental laboratory; CDC Lab. Zirconia crowns are extraordinary strong and can withstand most chewing and biting activities. As they are made of crystal, zirconium crowns are much stronger than porcelain and porcelain-fused-to-metal ones. Due to their biocompatible structure, zirconia crowns rarely provoke allergic reaction or body rejection. It is needed less layer of material to provide a super strength with zirconia crowns. As a consequence, less amount of your original tooth should be removed to fit the crown properly. They are priced at CDC for €495.00 / €550.

  • All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide better natural colour match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. However, they are not as strong as zirconia crowns. All-porcelain crowns are made of biocompatible material, so there is no risk of allergic reactions and gum irritation. All-porcelain crowns are translucent and smooth, matching the size, colour and shade of your original teeth. All-porcelain crowns are a perfect choice for the front teeth restoration. They are priced at CDC for €650.00.

What steps are involved in preparing a tooth for a crown?

Preparing a tooth for a crown usually requires two visits to the dentist – the first step involves examining and preparing the tooth, the second visit involves placement of the permanent crown.

 

First visit: Examining and preparing the tooth.


At the first visit in preparation for a crown, your dentist the conditions of your tooth involved. If the tooth has extensive decay or if there is a risk of infection or injury to the tooth's pulp, a root canal treatment may first be performed.


Before the process of making a crown begins, your dentist will anesthetize (numb) the tooth and the gum tissue around the tooth. Next, the tooth receiving the crown is filed down along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown. The amount removed depends on the type of crown used. If, on the other hand, a large area of the tooth is missing (due to decay or damage), your dentist will use filling material to "build up" the tooth to support the crown.


After reshaping the tooth, your dentist will make an impression or take a scan of the tooth to receive the crown. Impressions or scans of the teeth above and below the tooth to receive the dental crown will also be made to make sure that the crown will not affect your bite.


The impressions are sent to a dental lab where the crown will be manufactured. The crown is usually returned to your dentist's office in two to three weeks. If the crown is made of porcelain, your dentist will also select the shade that most closely matches the colour of the neighbouring teeth. During this first visit your dentist will make a temporary crown to cover and protect the prepared tooth while the crown is being made. Temporary crowns usually are made of acrylic and are held in place using temporary cement.

 

Second visit: Receiving the permanent dental crown.


At the second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and check the fit and colour of the permanent crown. If everything is acceptable, a local anaesthetic will be used to numb the tooth and the new crown is permanently cemented in place. When the procedure is over, you will receive further care instructions.

 

What problems could develop with a dental crown?

  • Discomfort or sensitivity. Your newly crowned tooth may be sensitive immediately after the procedure as the anaesthesia begins to wear off. If the tooth that has been crowned still has a nerve in it, you may experience some heat and cold sensitivity. Your dentist may recommend that you brush teeth with toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Pain or sensitivity that occurs when you bite down usually means that the crown is too high on the tooth. If this is the case, call your dentist. He or she can easily fix the problem.

  • Chipped crown. Crowns made of all porcelain can sometimes chip. If the chip is small, a composite resin can be used to repair the chip with the crown remaining in your mouth. If the chipping is extensive, the crown may need to be replaced.

  • Loose crown. Sometimes the cement washes out from under the crown. Not only does this allow the crown to become loose, it allows bacteria to leak in and cause decay to the tooth that remains. If a crown feels loose, contact your dentist's office.

  • Crown falls off. Sometimes crowns fall off. Usually this is due to an improper fit, a lack of cement, or a very small amount of tooth structure remaining that the crown can hold on to. If this happens, clean the crown and the front of the tooth. You can replace the crown temporarily using dental adhesive or temporary tooth cement that is sold in stores for this purpose. Contact your dentist's office immediately. He or she will give you specific instructions on how to care for the tooth and crown for the day or so until you can be seen for an evaluation. Your dentist may be able to re-cement the crown in place; if not, a new crown will need to be made.

  • Allergic reaction. Because the metals used to make crowns are usually a mixture of metals, an allergic reaction to the metals or porcelain used in crowns can occur, but this is extremely rare.

 

How long do dental crowns last?

On average, dental crowns last between five and 15 years. The life span of a crown depends on the amount of "wear and tear" the crown is exposed to, how well you follow good oral hygiene practices, and your personal mouth-related habits (you should avoid such habits as grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing ice, biting fingernails, and using your teeth to open packaging).

Does a crowned tooth require special care?

While a crowned tooth does not require any special care, remember that simply because a tooth is crowned does not mean the tooth is protected from decay or gum disease. Therefore, continue to follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily -- especially around the crown area where the gum meets the tooth -- and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash at least once a day.

 

What is Digital Smile Design (DSD)?

 

The excellence in functional and aesthetic dentistry will never be achieved by accident. It is consistently achieved by a systematic approach for diagnosis, communication, treatment planning, execution, and case maintenance.

 
Digital Smile Design (DSD) is a multipurpose conceptual protocol which provides remarkable advantages:

 

  • the diagnostic abilities are facilitated through an extra and intra oral aesthetic and structural evaluation

  • improved communication between the team members providing a better visual perception, education and motivation for patients

  • increased effectiveness of case presentation and accordingly case acceptance

  • clinical efficiency and predictability trough digital technology

DSD ethically involves patients in the restorative or smile enhancement process, making them the co-designer of their own treatment by sharing objectives, expressing their desires and expectations with the restorative team. The interaction between patient and dental specialist is improved by photos and videos taken at several steps of the treatment. Experiences all over the world have been tremendous. Once the restorative technical requirements are combined with the desires and emotional needs of the patient, great results will be achieved - creating a path to a natural, confident and beautiful smile.

 

Nowadays having a mouth free of biological and functional issues is not satisfying for demanding patients. Their desire is to own naturally beautiful smiles that harmonise with their physical characteristics and most importantly with their personalities. DSD dentists are aware of all the contributing factors that are necessary to make patients more satisfied beyond conventional dentistry. Developing an artistic vision and a set of appropriate skills are needed in order to become a Digital Smile Designer. Each customised patient design can be clearly visualised and improved with the patients’ ideas. Therefore the DSD concept allows dentists to implement these benefits for patients, creating a smile that reflects their own personality and greatly enhances the experience and the results for all.

 

The DSD concept is based upon the analysis of the patient’s facial and dental proportions, utilising a predetermined series of high quality digital photographs and videos understanding the relationship between teeth, gums, lips, smile with the facial features in motion and with emotion.

 

Digital drawings are easily made on the pictures, following a didactical sequence and a digital ruler is provided to precisely communicate with the dental technician and team when designing the smile. Resulting in a clear, attractive and understandable treatment presentation for patients.

 

The achievement of ideal aesthetic and functional results critically depends on teamwork, interdisciplinary communication and case re-evaluation.

We are looking forward to welcome you at our Clinic; please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions in the meantime.

 

Carlow Dental Centre Team

Learning from the Greatest

 
 

Oral Surgery

Oral Surgery

 

As comprehensive dental care provider, we perform wide scope of oral surgery including all kinds of surgical and simple extractions, and allographt bone grafting. We will provide you with a full consultation explaining the diagnosis and treatment options before scheduling the oral surgery.

Extractions

We perform different types of extractions and ensure your comfort during and after surgery by using appropriate anaesthetics and pain killers. Teeth can be removed simply or surgically.

Simple Extraction

A simple extraction is made when a tooth hasn’t been broken too much and is visible in the mouth. The dental procedure is very quick and requires only local anaesthesia. First, we will loosen your tooth with forceps before pulling it out. After your tooth extraction, you will have to avoid hard food during a few hours and take some pain medication, if needed.

Surgical Extraction

A surgical extraction is performed when the tooth is broken down at the gum line or is not exposed, as it usually happens with wisdom teeth. The procedure may include local or general anaesthesia depending on the case. To access the tooth, we will make a cut and pull back the gums. The tooth is removed in pieces or intact. After the surgery, it is important to follow the instructions: changing gaze pads, avoiding eating solid food and smoking, rinsing your mouth with salt water.

Allograft Bone Grafts

Allograft bone grafting procedure is performed to restore your bone to its normal form. Bone grafting may also be necessary in order to maintain bone structure after the teeth extraction, gum disease or trauma. Being a natural alternative to synthetic implant products, allograft bone is derived from an individual other than the one who is receiving the graft. Restoring the bone structure is important for many dental procedures, such as dental implantation. Moreover, the facial and jaw bones support the skin and face muscles which are responsive for cosmetic appearance.

 

The Benefits of Allograft Bone Grafting

 

  • Allograft grafting helps to restore bone and tissue integrity, functionality and aesthetics

  • Proven effectiveness in clinical trials

  • Allograft has a great track record of safety

  • It has no second surgical site

  • Allograft provides a better attachment of implants

  • Reduced pain and potential complications

 

What is an impacted tooth?

 

It is a dental problem in which the last molars or wisdom teeth fail to completely surface. Impacted tooth occurs when the wisdom tooth is too big that there is not enough room on the gum line and jaw to accommodate a third molar.

 

A wisdom tooth didn’t come out and side with the other teeth around the gum line is entrapped, between the gum tissue and jawbone. When it gets entrapped or impacted you can experience swelling and pain. An impacted wisdom tooth also gets infected. When not treated immediately the problem could give long lasting damage to gums, nearby teeth and bone. Severe infection left untreated for a long time could also spread and develop to tumours or cysts. The tumour could destroy part of the jaw that got infected.

 

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation

for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. They are one of the many types of oral surgery. The surgery is done to provide stability and support to existing

and new dentures as well as replace lost teeth. Most people who have lost their teeth because of infection or accident undergo dental implants. Dentist often recommends dental implants to avoid future problems with placement of tooth. But dental implants are only recommended to those who are healthy. They shouldn’t be susceptible to infection and the bone density and bone level must be excellent. They should also practice an excellent oral hygiene to qualify for implants.

 

What are the advantages of dental implants?

 

There are many advantages to dental implants, including:

 

  • Improved appearance. Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.

  • Improved speech. With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip.

  • Improved comfort. Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.

  • Easier eating. Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favourite foods with confidence and without pain.

  • Improved self-esteem. Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.

  • Improved oral health. Dental implants don't require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.

  • Durability. Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.

  • Convenience. Removable dentures are just that; removable. Dental implants eliminate the embarrassing inconvenience of removing dentures, as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep them in place.

 

How successful are dental implants?

 

Success rates of dental implants vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed but, in general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care, implants can last a lifetime.

Can anyone get dental implants?

In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They also must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders – such as diabetes or heart disease – or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. If you are considering implants, talk to your dentist to see if they are right for you.

What is involved in getting a dental implant?

The first step in the dental implant process is the development of an individualized treatment plan. The plan addresses your specific needs and is prepared by a team of professionals who are specially trained and experienced in oral surgery and restorative dentistry. This team approach provides coordinated care based on the implant option that is best for you.

Next, the tooth root implant, which is a small post made of titanium, is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the implanted metal post, anchoring it securely in the jaw. The healing process can take from six to 12 weeks.

Once the implant has bonded to the jawbone, a small connector post – called an abutment – is attached to the post to securely hold the new tooth. To make the new tooth or teeth, your dentist makes impressions of your teeth, and creates a model of your bite (which captures all of your teeth, their type, and arrangement). The new tooth or teeth is based on this model. A replacement tooth, called a crown, is then attached to the abutment.

Instead of one or more individual crowns, some patients may have attachments placed on the implant that retain and support a removable denture.

Your dentist also will match the colour of the new teeth to your natural teeth. Because the implant is secured within the jawbone, the replacement teeth look, feel, and function just like your own natural teeth.

 

How painful are dental implants?

Most people who have received dental implants say that there is very little discomfort involved in the procedure. Local anaesthesia can be used during the procedure, and most patients report that implants involve less pain than a tooth extraction.

After the dental implant, mild soreness can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications.


How do I care for dental implants?

 

Dental implants require the same care as real teeth, including brushing, flossing, rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash, and regular dental check-ups.

We are looking forward to welcome you at our Clinic; please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions in the meantime.

 

Carlow Dental Centre Team

 

Dental Hygienic

Periodontal  Treatments

Periodontology

 

 

Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)

 

Periodontitis, also generally called gum disease or periodontal disease, begins with bacterial growth in your mouth and may end – if not properly treated – with tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth.

 

What's the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis?

Gingivitis (gum inflammation) usually precedes periodontitis (gum disease). However, it is important to know that not all gingivitis progresses to periodontitis.

 

In the early stage of gingivitis, bacteria in plaque build up, causing the gums to become inflamed and to easily bleed during tooth brushing. Although the gums may be irritated, the teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets. No irreversible bone or other tissue damage has occurred at this stage.

 

When gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis. In a person with periodontitis, the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These small spaces between teeth and gums collect debris and can become infected. The body's immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line.

 

Toxins or poisons – produced by the bacteria in plaque as well as the body's "good" enzymes involved in fighting infections – start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. When this happens, teeth are no longer anchored in place, they become loose, and tooth loss occurs. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

 

What causes gum disease?

Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. However, other factors can contribute to periodontal disease. These include:

  • Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and monthly menstruation, make gums more sensitive, which makes it easier for gingivitis to develop.

  • Illnesses may affect the condition of your gums. This includes diseases such as cancer or HIV that interfere with the immune system. Because diabetes affects the body's ability to use blood sugar, patients with this disease are at higher risk of developing infections, including periodontal disease and cavities.

  • Medications can affect oral health, because some lessen the flow of saliva, which has a protective effect on teeth and gums. Some drugs, such as anticonvulsant medications and anti-angina drugs can cause abnormal growth of gum tissue.

  • Bad habits such as smoking make it harder for gum tissue to repair itself.

  • Poor oral hygiene habits such as not brushing and flossing on a daily basis make it easier for gingivitis to develop.

  • Family history of dental disease can be a contributing factor for the development of gingivitis.

 

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

Gum disease may progress painlessly, producing few obvious signs, even in the late stages of the disease. Although the symptoms of periodontal disease often are subtle, the condition is not entirely without warning signs. Certain symptoms may point to some form of the disease. The symptoms of gum disease include:

 

  • Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums

  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth

  • Receding gums

  • Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums

  • Loose or shifting teeth

  • Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures.

 

Even if you don't notice any symptoms, you may still have some degree of gum disease. In some people, gum disease may affect only certain teeth, such as the molars. Only a dentist or a periodontist can recognize and determine the progression of gum disease.

 

How does my dentist diagnose gum disease?

During a dental exam, your dentist typically checks for these things:

  • Gum bleeding, swelling, firmness, and pocket depth (the space between the gum and tooth; the larger and deeper the pocket, the more severe the disease)

  • Teeth movement and sensitivity and proper teeth alignment

  • Your jawbone, to help detect the breakdown of bone surrounding your teeth

 

How can gum disease be prevented?

Gum disease can be reversed in nearly all cases when proper plaque control is practiced. Proper plaque control consists of professional cleanings at least twice a year and daily brushing and flossing. Brushing eliminates plaque from the surfaces of the teeth that can be reached; flossing removes food particles and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gum line. Antibacterial mouth rinses can reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease.

 

Other health and lifestyle changes that will decrease the risk, severity, and speed of gum disease development include:

 

  • Stop smoking. Tobacco use is a significant risk factor for development of periodontitis. Smokers are seven times more likely to get gum disease than non-smokers, and smoking can lower the chances of success of some treatments.

  • Reduce stress . Stress may make it difficult for your body's immune system to fight off infection.

  • Maintain a well-balanced diet. Proper nutrition helps your immune system fight infection. Eating foods with antioxidant properties - for example, those containing vitamin E (vegetable oils, nuts, and green leafy vegetables) and vitamin C (citrus fruits, broccoli, and potatoes) - can help your body repair damaged tissue.

  • Avoid clenching and grinding your teeth. These actions may put excess force on the supporting tissues of the teeth and could increase the rate at which these tissues are destroyed.

 

Despite following good oral hygiene practices and making other healthy lifestyle choices, some people may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. And those who are genetically predisposed may be up to six times more likely to develop some form of gum disease. If anyone in your family has gum disease, it may mean that you are at greater risk, as well. If you are more susceptible to gum disease, your dentist or periodontist may recommend more frequent check-ups, cleanings, and treatments to better manage the condition.

 

How is gum disease treated?

The goals of gum disease treatment are to promote reattachment of healthy gums to teeth; reduce swelling, the depth of pockets, and the risk of infection; and to stop disease progression. Treatment options depend on the stage of disease, how you may have responded to earlier treatments, and your overall health. Options range from nonsurgical therapies that control bacterial growth to surgery to restore supportive tissues.

 

Treatments for Gum Disease

There are a variety of treatments for gum disease depending on the stage of disease, how you may have responded to earlier treatments, and your overall health. Treatments range from nonsurgical therapies that control bacterial growth to surgery to restore supportive tissues.

Non-surgical Treatments for Gum Disease

Treatments for gum disease that don't involve surgery include:

 

  • Professional dental cleaning. During a typical check-up your dentist or dental hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar (plaque that builds up and hardens on the tooth surface and can only be removed with professional cleaning) from above and below the gum line of all teeth. If you have some signs of gum disease, your dentist may recommend professional dental cleaning more than twice-a-year. Dental cleanings are not a treatment for active gum disease. They are, though, an important preventive measure that can help you stave off its development.

  • Scaling and root planing. This is a deep-cleaning, nonsurgical procedure, done under a local anaesthetic, whereby plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line are scraped away (scaling) and rough spots on the tooth root are made smooth (planing). Smoothing the rough spots removes bacteria and provides a clean surface for the gums to reattach to the teeth. Scaling and root planing is done if your dentist or periodontist determines that you have plaque and calculus (hardened plaque, also called tartar) under the gums that needs to be removed.

 

Surgical Treatments for Gum Disease

Some treatments for gum disease are surgical. Examples are:

 

  • Flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery. During this procedure the gums are lifted back and the tarter is removed. In some cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged bone are smoothed to limit areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide. The gums are then placed so that the tissue fits snugly around the tooth. This method reduces the size of the space between the gum and tooth, thereby decreasing the areas where harmful bacteria can grow and decreasing the chance of serious health problems associated with periodontal disease.

  • Bone grafts. This procedure involves using fragments of your own bone, synthetic bone, or donated bone to replace bone destroyed by gum disease. The grafts serve as a platform for the regrowth of bone, which restores stability to teeth. New technology, called tissue engineering, encourages your own body to regenerate bone and tissue at an accelerated rate.

  • Soft tissue grafts. This procedure reinforces thin gums or fills in places where gums have receded. Grafted tissue, most often taken from the roof of the mouth, is stitched in place, adding tissue to the affected area.

  • Guided tissue regeneration. Performed when the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed, this procedure stimulates bone and gum tissue growth. Done in combination with flap surgery, a small piece of mesh-like fabric is inserted between the bone and gum tissue. This keeps the gum tissue from growing into the area where the bone should be, allowing the bone and connective tissue to regrow to better support the teeth.

  • Bone surgery. Smoothens shallow craters in the bone due to moderate and advanced bone loss. Following flap surgery, the bone around the tooth is reshaped to decrease the craters. This makes it harder for bacteria to collect and grow.

 

In some patients, the nonsurgical procedure of scaling and root planing is all that is needed to treat gum diseases. Surgery is needed when the tissue around the teeth is unhealthy and cannot be repaired with nonsurgical options.

 

Drugs Used to Treat Gum Disease

Antibiotic treatments can be used either in combination with surgery and other therapies, or alone, to reduce or temporarily eliminate the bacteria associated with gum disease or suppress the destruction of the tooth's attachment to the bone.

Chlorhexidine is an antimicrobial used to control plaque and gingivitis in the mouth or in periodontal pockets. The medication is available as a mouth rinse. Other antibiotics, including doxycycline, tetracycline, and minocycline may also be used to treat gum disease, as determined by your dentist.

In addition, non-prescription toothpaste that contains fluoride and an antibiotic to reduce plaque and gingivitis is often recommended.

 

Special Preparations Before Treatment for Gum Disease

Your dentist or periodontist is able to perform most procedures in his or her office. The time needed to perform the procedure, your degree of discomfort, and time needed to heal will vary from patient to patient depending on the type and extent of the procedure and your overall health. Local anaesthesia to numb the treatment area may be given before some treatments. If necessary, a medication may be given to help you relax.

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